Institutions Which Don’t Seem To Be Working For Many, Many People: A Few More Brexit-Related Links

Megan McArdle at Bloomberg from not long ago, on Brexit.  Comments are worth a read on issues many Americans may share, or, at least, where many folks are finding shared populist rejection of many aspects of a global, liberal order.  Many people place sovereignty, reasonable self-interest, borders, freedoms and duties under national laws and the ‘we’ coming from these freedoms and duties above other considerations.

From a reader, Peter Hitchens tracks 40 years of history, often snaking across party lines, and makes a case for Britain to stay-out:

Perhaps related-Ross Douthat at the NY Times: ‘The Myth Of Cosmopolitanism:’

‘Indeed elite tribalism is actively encouraged by the technologies of globalization, the ease of travel and communication. Distance and separation force encounter and immersion, which is why the age of empire made cosmopolitans as well as chauvinists — sometimes out of the same people. (There is more genuine cosmopolitanism in Rudyard Kipling and T. E. Lawrence and Richard Francis Burton than in a hundred Davos sessions.)’

Well, it’s probably important to remember that any one person, or group, of shared interests and ideals is reasonably content, if enough members of the group are getting their interests met and/or their ideals reflected back upon them.  It’s tribal and it isn’t.

This rebuttal from the comments, alone, may justify having written the piece:

‘No no Ross, you’re wrong. Cosmopolitan sorts walk the talk my friend. We (gasp) befriend kind people of lesser means, we find value in intelligence and openness wherever it lies. We emphasize and appreciate what connects us all and we seek to find connections wherever we go. We hope to contribute to a world that values all individuals and tolerates all sorts. And it is not a rant. It is a belief system that if we all shared would make the world a better place.’

I appreciate the honesty, but the lack of self-awareness is kind-of the point.

Because I think it bears repeating, I find myself very much in line with the following:

‘We may sum this up by saying that the more the style of what used to be called politics becomes theorized, the more political problems come to be reintrepreted as managerial.  Working out the least oppressive laws under which different and sometimes conflicting groups may live peaceably together is being replaced by manipulation and management of the attitudes different groups take towards each other, with the hope that this will ultimately bring harmony.  In other words, in the new form of society, human beings are becoming the matter which is to be shaped according to the latest moral ideas.’

Minogue, Kenneth.  Politics.  Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 1995. (Pg 111).


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